Sheriff’s Department

Person killed in train-car crash identified

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has identified the person killed in a train-car crash last night in Somers as Erik S. Johnson, 20, of Kenosha.

From the Sheriff’s Department statement:
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Sheriff’s Department promotions and re-assignments announced

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has issued the following press release regarding promotions and other personnel changes at the department:

Measures passed by the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors in the 2013 budget and a retirement will mean changes at the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

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This is Winter Awareness Week — already!

/Photo by Dave Dyet via stock.xchng

From the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department:

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth has joined with Governor Scott Walker in proclaiming November 5th through the 9th, 2012, as Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

“The purpose of Winter Awareness Week is to get people thinking about and preparing for winter weather conditions that can threaten their safety,” Beth said. “Now is the time to winterize your car and home, put new batteries in your NOAA All Hazard Weather radio and prepare emergency kits for your home and vehicle. Being prepared for winter weather means knowing what different weather terminology means, staying tuned to changing weather conditions, and being prepared at home, at work, and at school for potential power outages and severe winter weather.”

Winter storms are known as deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly linked to the weather: like traffic accidents on icy roads, people having strokes or heart attacks from over exertion (shoveling, snow blowing) and people dying from prolonged exposure to the cold. To keep people informed and aware of upcoming weather conditions, the National Weather Service has developed key weather terminology so that people will always know what type of weather may be coming their way. People need to be aware of local forecasts and warnings, and familiarize themselves with key weather terminology so that they remain safe and are always prepared for what Mother Nature has in store for them. Current and upcoming winter weather information can always be found 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on NOAA All Hazard Weather radios; the radio frequency assigned to Kenosha/Racine is 162.450 MHz; NOAA radios can be purchased at many stores with prices ranging from $30 – $80.

To stay informed on winter weather, the National Weather Service has established the following Advisories and Warnings:

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Suspect in Somers murder case may be charged on Thursday

A suspect being held in the Kenosha County Jail since August is expected to be charged in Circuit Court tomorrow  in the case of a woman whose body was found in a Somers cemetery on August 19th.

KenoWi does not identify suspects until they have been formally charged.  According to a Sheriff’s Department statement, the suspect was a known associate of the victim, Lisa Mezera. The suspect, a 52-year-old man from Kenosha, has been in custody since August 20th, the day after the discovery of the victim’s body. He was able to be held in custody on probation and parole violations.

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K-9 obstacle course created as Eagle Scout project opens

Kenosha Police Department Officer Jon Schradt and Miky run the new obstacle training course at the Kenosha County Detention Center. /Earlene Frederick photo

A K-9 obstacle course created as an Eagle Scout project was officially opened at the Kenosha County Detention Center, 4777 – 88th Avenue, on Saturday morning.

On hand were K-9 teams from the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department and the Kenosha Police Department.

Also, at the event was Boy Scout James Nowak, who built the obstacle course as his Eagle Scout Community Service Project. Nowak, a member of St. Mark’s Troop 507, approached the Sheriff’s and Police Departments about the possibility of building the course. The Sheriff’s Department was able to identify a site at the Detention Center that would serve the needs of both departments and allow 24-hour access without disturbing neighbors. This location allows K-9 handlers to train with their partners during their regular work shift anytime of the day or night.

Nowak worked with local volunteers to build the obstacle course. Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. and the Kiwanis made donations toward the project. Lowe’s donated all of the building supplies, which totaled nearly $1,500. Yuka Fence supplied the fencing for the site, said Scout master Tom Zamba.

Said Sheriff David Beth:

“(Kenosha) Police Chief Morrissey and I are glad that James would consider our department K-9 teams for his Eagle Scout Project. This course will insure the health and safety of our dogs for many years to come.”

Sheriff David Beth presents Boy Scout James Nowak with a few mementos. Nowak built a police K9 obstacle course at the Kenosha County Detention Center as an Eagle Scout community service project. The course was officially opened Saturday. /Earlene Frederick photo

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Sheriff’s Department conducts Tactical Response Team training

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department held Tactical Response Team training  Thursday in Somers.

From a statement issued by the department:
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Sheriff’s spokesman says Somers death was not random

Sgt. Bill Beth, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman, released the following statement just before noon regarding an investigtion into a body found in a Somers cemetery Sunday morning:

We are far enough along in the investigation to let the public know that this does not appear to be a random act of violence. This does appear to have been directed at this specific victim. We do not believe there is any reason for the public to be worried about having this type of thing happen to them, as it does appear to be isolated to this individual.”

Our original story on the incident is here.

Sheriff’s Department investigating body found in Somers cemetery

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding a woman’s body found in a Somers cemetery today.

From a statement issued by department spokesman Sgt. Bill Beth:
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Haz-mat unit called to scene of crash on I-94

Photo by kconnors via morgueFile.com

At 12:58 p.m., Kenosha County’s Hazardous Materials Team are being called to assist with a crash on I-94.

The haz-mat team members are being staged at the Highway C on-ramp. Dispatch says this is a confirmed haz-mat incident.

Sheriff’s Department to sponsor ATV course

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department will be sponsoring an ATV Safety Course on June 12 and 13.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who is at least 12 years old, must complete an ATV safety certification course in order to operate on public ATV trails and areas in Wisconsin.

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New automated service notifies registered crime victims when offenders are released from jail

Kenosha County residents will now have quick access to custody information on offenders in the county jail.

This week, Sheriff David Beth activated the WI-VINE service, an automated service that notifies registered crime victims when offenders are released from jail. It also provides around-the-clock access to offender information either by telephone or use of the internet. The WI-VINE system can be used by anyone impacted by crime, who is interested in knowing the location and custody status of criminal defendants and offenders housed in the Kenosha County Jail.

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Units responding to report of possible fire in Somers

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

At 10:10 p.m., Somers Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are resp0nding to a report of a possible fire in the 400 block of Sheridan Road, in Somers.

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Units responding to crash on I-94 off ramp

Photo by kconnors via morgueFile.com

At 5:48 p.m., Bristol Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue, and Paris Fire and Rescue and sheriff’s deputies are responding to a report of a crash on the off ramp for Highway 50 from I-94.

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Chase ends in crash along Highway 50

/Earlene Frederick photo

A man was arrested today in Kenosha after two chases with police that ultimately ended up with his truck wrecked and police using the Air One helicopter and dogs to search for him.

You can get  the early facts from this 620wtmj.com story.

We will follow up with the several police agencies involved to see what else we can learn.

For more Earlene Frederick photos click the continue reading link below.

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Police chief gives Optimist Club rundown on local crime, other department activities

Police Chief John Morrissey.

Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey gave members of the Kenosha Optimist Club a rundown on crime statistics over the last year.

“It was mostly good news, with no homicides last year, and robberies, aggravated assaults and burglaries down,” Morrissey said.

Thefts increased, but Morrissey said that was not completely surprising.

“I think economy wise that’s to be expected,” Morrissey said.

Morrissey was speaking at the Optimist Club’s annual Respect for Law Enforcement event, held at Baker’s Street in Kenosha. Here is some video of all of Morrissey’s comments on crime reporting (I apologize for the poor lighting — DH):

Other tidbits from Morrissey’s remarks:

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Deputies catch attempted carjackers in Somers

Photo by kconnors with morgueFile.com

Sheriff’s deputies this morning arrested two suspects who allegedly attempted to carjack a Somers resident’s vehicle.

From a press release issued this afternoon:

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Sheriff’s Department investigating racial threats at UW-Parkside; later proven a hoax

Threats aimed at African-American students at University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Somers had sheriff’s deputies busy today investigating the situation.

As a result of the investigation so far, the department “does not believe a credible threat to actually commit real harm to real people currently exists,” said a press release issued by Sgt. Bill Beth, sheriff’s department spokesman, at about 4:45 p.m.

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Sheriff’s Department to offer Citizen’s Academy

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department will again offer the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is a 9-week program designed to give participants a first-hand look at the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department operations and allow them the opportunity to experience law enforcement from a deputy sheriff’s standpoint. Participants will ride along with deputies on the street, receive instruction in criminal and traffic law, and be instructed in basic law enforcement procedures, as well as firearms, and officer safety practices. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be Kenosha County residents.

Classes are held once a week and will begin on Monday, March 5, and end on April 30. Applications are available by email, on the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department website, or at the Sheriff’s Department, 1000 55th St., Kenosha. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 1.

D.A.R.E. program returns to two Kenosha schools

Frank School D.A.R.E. graduates receive their diplomas and other mementos from (from right) Sheriff David Beth, Deputy David Wright and teachers Miss Huizenga and Mr. Gaudio.

The D.A.R.E. program, which teaches children skills to choose to avoid drugs and violence, has returned to two Kenosha schools.

Fifth graders at both Wilson and Frank schools have recently completed the 10-week course led by a Kenosha County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“We really wanted to create opportunities for students at the Frank and Wilson Elementary schools to positively interact with deputies,” said Sheriff David Beth, a former D.A.R.E. deputy himself. “D.A.R.E.is a great program to teach kids how to make positive decisions for their life and is a natural way to get a deputy and students interacting on a regular basis.”

The program is currently offered at 27 schools in Kenosha County, but has not been offered at schools in the city of Kenosha for awhile.

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Sheriff’s Department urges seatbelt usage over holiday weekend

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department issued the following holiday weekend statement:

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department is warning citizens to make sure they buckle their seat belts over the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend or run the risk of getting a ticket.

“Whether you’re going across town or across the state this Thanksgiving, make sure you and everyone riding with you is wearing their seat belts,” said Sheriff David Beth. “You may be enjoying the Holiday, but be aware that deputies will be out in force as part of this year’s Click It or Ticket campaign, making sure your road trip is as safe as it can be.”

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County Detention Center death being investigated

The Tuesday death of a man being held at the Kenosha County Detention Center is being investigated by a neighboring county’s sheriff’s department.

From a statement released through Sgt. Bill Beth, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department spokesman:
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KDOG makes marijuana arrest

Photo by Andrzej Pobiedziński via stock.xchng

Kenosha Drug Operations Group (KDOG), with the assistance of Kenosha Police Department K9 Officer Torres and the Kenosha Police Department gang unit, completed a marijuana drug investigation on Wednesday.

At about 1:45 p.m., the suspect in the case was taken into custody on a traffic stop in the 4200 block of 79th Street on three drug-related charges, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Bill Beth said.

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Seven arrested on drug indictments

Seven men were arrested on July 20 on federal drug indictments, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department announced today.

According to a press release:
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KPD and KCSD receive justice assistance grant

VOCAR HR-BV Radar

At the Public Safety and Welfare meeting held on Monday night, Chief of Police John Morrissey gave the committee a report on the 2011 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) and the purchases that will be made by both the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department as a result of the funding.  Historically, the money has been split 60/40 between the two departments, and this year, the same agreement has been reached.  The total grant funding for this year is $47,177.  Here is a list of items that will be purchased by each department:

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Sheriff’s Department to intensify traffic enforcement July 1-17

To decrease speeding and increase safety belt use, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department will intensify its traffic safety enforcement efforts during the Summer Heat campaign from July 1 to 17.

“With more officers patrolling, for longer hours during the Summer Heat campaign, we are striving to get drivers to comply voluntarily with the posted speed limits and to buckle up,” said Sheriff David Beth. “Our goal is not to issue more traffic citations. Our goal is to reduce the number of traffic deaths in Kenosha County. If people traveling in our county refuse to comply with speed limits and safety belt use, deputies will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action.”

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Police agencies stepping up seatbelt enforcement

Photo by Antonio J. Sanchez via stock.xchng

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and Pleasant Prairie Police Department have announced they will increase safety belt enforcement patrols during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization through June 6. More than 300 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are expected to participate in this year’s Click It or Ticket, which is the nation’s largest safety belt enforcement and education campaign.

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This is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week

NOAA stock photo /public domain

April 11 to 15 has been proclaimed Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, by Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Gov. Scott Walker.

During this time a statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 (Note: I’m checking on this to see whether this day or date is correct since Friday is April 15 Corrected day now — DH).. At approximately 1 p.m., a mock tornado watch will be issued for the entire state  and at approximately 1:20 p.m., a mock tornado warning will be issued for all of Southeast Wisconsin, which will include the sounding of Kenosha County’s Outdoor Warning sirens. The drill will conclude at 2 p.m. If severe weather should be present in the state on Thursday, April 14, the mock tornado drill will be cancelled.

As part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, Kenosha County will be sponsoring a free Advanced Tornado Spotter’s Class on Thursday April 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Kenosha County Center (Highways 45 and 50). Though the class is free, people need to RSVP to Kenosha County Emergency Management at 605-7900 to reserve a spot. A Basic Tornado Spotter’s Class is required prior to taking the Advanced Class.

“The Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week and the mock tornado drill offer opportunities for schools, businesses and families to discuss and practice for severe weather activities. It’s important that everyone regardless of where they are at when severe weather strikes, know what to do and where to go,” Kreuser said.

“The purpose of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, is to get people thinking about not only tornadoes and what one needs to do to protect themselves, their families and their property, but other types of severe weather as well,” said Lt. Ed Van Tine, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and director, Kenosha County Emergency Management. “People need to be aware of the dangers of severe thunderstorms/lightning which cause an average of 93 deaths and 300 injuries per year nationwide; flash floods/floods which kill nearly 140 people per year nationwide and cause millions of dollars in damages.”

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Traffic crashes down because tickets are up, chief tells service club


Kenosha Police Chief John Morrissey says he is not big on crime stats. They’re just numbers, he says.

And in general Kenosha’s crime numbers are going in the right direction — down, he said Thursday.

But the most dramatic decrease in the city’s police related numbers is traffic accidents, Morrissey told a meeting of the Kenosha Area Noon Optimist Club.

Traffic crashes last year were down 32 percent over the year before, Morrissey said.

One reason, Morrissey said, is that another number was up — traffic citations.

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Sheriff’s Citizen Academy starting this month

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department will again offer the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy starting later this month.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy is a nine-week program designed to give participants a first hand look at the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department operations and allow them the opportunity to experience law enforcement from a Deputy Sheriff’s standpoint. Participants will ride along with deputies on the street, receive instruction in criminal and traffic law and be instructed in basic law enforcement procedures, as well as firearms and officer safety practices.

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Sheriff’s Department to step up OWI, seat belt enforcement

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has issued the following statement regarding increased operating while intoxicated enforcement:

In order to combat drunken driving and increase safety belt use, The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department will intensify its traffic safety enforcement during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from March 4 to 20.

The increased enforcement is part of a grant that The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department has received from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety (BoTS).

“Our intensified traffic safety enforcement during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period and throughout the year will help prevent motorists from killing and injuring themselves and others on our roadways. We’re striving to increase voluntary compliance with traffic safety laws; not to write more seat belt tickets or make more drunken driving arrests,” says Sheriff David Beth. “We are serious about traffic safety enforcement because far too many needless deaths and serious injuries are due to drunken driving and not wearing safety belts. Our goal is to reduce preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin because even one preventable traffic fatality is one too many.”

UPDATE March 7 — Pleasant Prairie has announced the same effort.

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